By John Norton
“The importance [of the Catholic press] is not yet sufficiently understood. Neither clergy nor faithful patronize it as they should. Formerly the poison of the bad press was not spreading everywhere as it is now, and consequently the antidote of the good press was not so much required.”
That quote has been attributed to Pope Pius X, from a 1908 interview. But it sounds like it could have been said yesterday.
Our editorial this week notes the “happy” coincidence that February’s celebration of Catholic Press Month follows so soon after such a glaring reminder of the need for Catholics to rely on their Catholic press: the non-existent and distorted coverage of the March for Life by the mainstream media (see Page 23).
Not that we’re bashing the secular press. Yes, this was an example of them spectacularly failing on an issue that matters greatly to Catholics (and others). But, more importantly, it is a reminder that there are also a host of other issues — on matters large and small — to which the mainstream media is blind.
That ought to give media consumers pause. Assuming our faith is important to us, a conscious effort is required to further our formation and growth as Catholics — a process that ends only with death.
And Catholics who don’t consciously make an effort to form a Catholic “vision” of the world will go blind, too.
That’s where Catholic media are really irreplaceable, as our editorial says. And why as long ago as 1924, the U.S. bishops set this objective: “A Catholic daily or weekly in every Catholic home, a Catholic monthly in every Catholic home, the N.C.W.C. [National Catholic Welfare Conference] Bulletin in every Catholic home.”
Of course, I realize that this is an instance of preaching to the choir; the very fact that you are reading this means you know the importance of the Catholic press. It’s the people who aren’t reading this we need to reach.
Know that we appreciate your support, thank you for encouraging others to support us, too, and take very seriously our role as a tool for you to stay informed and to “be formed” as a person with Catholic reflexes and vision.
Because our mission is to serve you, we welcome your feedback, suggestions and even complaints. I know hearing from you has helped make us a better newsweekly. And it is because of you and your support that we are the most widely read and least expensive national Catholic newspaper in the United States.
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I mentioned here last week that Our Sunday Visitor was matching employee donations to Catholic Relief Service’s Haitian relief efforts. I’m proud to announce that the initiative netted $7,500. Numbers are also in for the special offering envelopes we donated to parishes: In the first few days of the offer, we shipped 230,000.
I look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: Comments left online may be considered for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of OSV Newsweekly.
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